Two weeks ago you could read about a emerging trend regarding strange (to put it mildly) team names in minor league baseball. In one week the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the Down East Wood Ducks and the Binghamton Rumble Ponies appeared in the world of minor league baseball. Since yesterday you can add another one to that list. Yesterday the (former) New Orleans Zephyrs announced their new name.
The Zephyrs are originally from Denver, named after a famous passenger train that ran between Chicago and Denver. After the Colorado Rockies landed in Denver, the team moved to New Orleans. The name Zephyrs still was appropriate as there was a very popular rollercoaster with that name in a New Orleans amusement park.
But earlier this year, the new owners of the Zephyrs announced that the team would rebrand and that they would organize a name-the-team-contest.
After names were sent in, the club picked seven names the fans could choose from: Crawfish, Po’ Boys (what ever that may be), Baby Cakes, King Cakes, Night Owls, Red Eyes and Tailgators.
After the fans casted their votes the club announced the new brand and logos yesterday through a tweet:
Baby Cakes President Lou Schwechheimer stated the following: “Our goal was to give the baseball fans of New Orleans a team and identity they can call their own. New Orleans is full of traditions woven into the fabric of the city, and this new tradition will be something local and iconic and celebrate what makes New Orleans and Minor League Baseball so great: family and fun.”
The name seems to be a tribute to the Mardi Gras king cakes where small plastic babies are sought after, “Baby Cakes” represents a new Louisiana tradition and underscores a fighting spirit and dedication to family fun. The new identity contains many Mardi Gras themes, starting with the team colors of mixing the Zephyrs’ dark navy blue with gold, purple and green. The primary logo is a baby, wearing a crown, emerging from a king cake while swinging a baseball bat.
One positive thing about this new name is that President Lou Schwechheimer promised a lifetime pass to Baby Cakes games for each child born in the state of Louisiana in 2017. One of those babies will be the recipient of a full, four-year tuition to the Louisiana university of their choosing when they turn 18.
In a nod to the past, the Baby Cakes’ crest contains the logos of the city’s previous professional baseball identities, the Pelicans and the Zephyrs. The crest will be worn as a patch on the sleeves of the home white and alternate navy blue jerseys, while all uniforms will include the logo of the parent club Miami Marlins on the opposite sleeve.
The Marlin’s minor leaguers will get traumatized. First they have to work their way through AA and wear a Jumbo Shrimp uniform and then through AAA where they have to wear a BabyCakes uni. Perhaps it is time for the Marlins to change their name in something “unique” as well.
This is not the end of the growing list of weird names. In a few weeks the Staten Island Yankees will rebrand as well. The fans could choose from the following names: Bridge Trolls, Heroes, Killer Bees, Pizza Rats, and Rock Pigeons. Not really inspiring names either.